Tuesday, 1 September 2009
Three weeks in.
The travesty of justice has officially been on the streets of Notgreatside for the last 3 weeks. I am a common or garden response officer and I have been out on the streets with a taser for that time.
It is a pain in the arse. Firstly they issued us with different belts to ensure that they couldn't be removed by offenders easily. Now depending on where I buy my clothes from I am either a 34 or 36 inch waist. I thought 36" just to be safe. Not sure who makes the belts but they obviously have different scales on their tape measures than the rest of us. Very last hole and that is a squeeze sometimes, no more fatty foods for me and no they can't issue me with another one yet as they have been specially ordered.
There is the rigmarole of being issued with a yellow piece of plastic and 3 cartridges, I handled firearms for 11 years whilst in the forces and am intimately familiar with load and unload drills and actually using weapons. I don't need someone who has never handled a weapon to tell me what to do. Weapon safety is drilled into me and has been since 1987. It is also a pain when you finish late not to have a duly "authorised" sergeant around to "unload" the taser, I have incurred overtime waiting to hand the bloody thing back!
It gets in the way when you get in the car, right where the seatbelt needs to go, just another piece of kit to fill my already full belt.
Does it work though........oh bloody hell yes. The scrotes notice it immediately, they are well used to the police and all the stuff normally carried. They pick up immediately on the bright yellow piece of plastic and not surprisingly ask "is that real". My stock answer is no it's a dummy just like you are for asking the question. I have only drawn it on one occassion and "red dotted" someone. It worked instantly stopping him in his tracks and avoiding yet another cocaine and alcohol fuelled fight which would have surely ensued. Incidentally, why do families always fight and argue at christenings, weddings etc?
In short and from an officer who is using one whilst not being part of a specialized team. It is a pain, more kit, procedure and writing. It has already in my experience stopped a situation dead in it's tracks and prevented a prolonged struggle. It is a deterrent and also a statement of purpose. It hasn't changed the way I work, my mouth is still my biggest tool and long may it remain so. What it does is provide another avenue of non-verbal communication which in my still limited experience has proved effective.
To all the people protesting against human rights issues what would you prefer? A subject who has momentarily been in fear of being tasered and calming down and not being injured or the police actually using force against him to achieve their aim and him suffering injuries. It is a double edged sword but it is helping in a small way to gain some sort of control in the area where I work.
I await the criticism.
Incidentally have completed all the stages for my application and am now on tenterhooks awaiting the outcome of the final interview.